Thunderbirds Are Go!

Okay slight exaggeration but if ‘they’ could make up their confounded minds on the name of my car I wouldn’t be in this predicament. It’s the “Yellow Brick” when I’m with Neil, the “Flying Banana” with the Parents, on Episode III night it was the “Millennium Canary” so Tomorrow Matthew its going to be a Thunderbird, most likely Thunderbird 4 since its yellow with large red lights on the back that look similar to 4’s the thrusters, however mine doesn’t have the ability to go underwater…yet…

Go! Go where? Well I’ll be making my way to Brum land (Birmingham) in about 10 hours firstly to pop into their Student Union and have a chat with their Newspaper Editor, which believe they call it the Red Brick and its an award winning read so I hope to learn a little something.

Then I’m visiting my old pal Div at his University Digs, should be good he’s famous for his flamboyant antics although having read his blog last night it seems things have quietened down so hopefully I won’t be disappointed.

And as a round-up to the weekend there is The Chocolate SSAGO Rally. I will be arriving at a reasonable hour this time, not stupid 3am like the last one. I’m fully looking forward to going since I’m running for Publicity Officer and the vote this Sunday will determine if I get the orifice.

So toodles for now and I’ll write when I get back.

Woohoo all upto date!

I’ve managed to find a potential new housemate for next year, with all the randomly assigned housemates I’m been lumped with I’m looking forward to living with someone I’ve chosen myself.

I’ve reworked the code for the Go Jamboree forum so that it’s all completely commented for official records, cleaned it up so it “runs” quicker and added exactly one mod, it would have been more but there seem to be some compatibility issues so I’m holding back on them.

Another of Western Eye Published, we’ve started switching over to using InDesign to collate all the material so the next few weeks will be interesting as the switch finalises.

SSAGO Rally in one 9 days, look out Brum, here I come!!

Film Review: War of the Worlds

War Of The Worlds 2005 Film Poster

Another Tom Cruise film directed by Steven Speilberg, those that did enjoy Minority Report probably will enjoy this film; both exhibit fantastic special effects and good performances.

War of the Worlds brings two methods seldom used for protagonist movies to audiences, firstly we spend the majority of the film seeing the main character Ray Ferrier (Cruise) lead his family as fast as he can in the opposite direction to danger. Usually something expected of minor cast members, example in the film Independence Day where one of the main characters runs straight to his military base to help in the effort despite seeing everyone around him running to the hills. Whilst Ferrier’s behaviour adds to the suspense for roughly three quarters of the film there is the inevitable act of courage that is just enough to save the day and adds some hope to a seemingly dire situation.

The second which is held to rigidly we see everything the main cast see, on the one occasion when we might see a full blown military engagement with the enemy the main character charges to within meters of seeing the action in a vain attempt to stop his son going “unto the breach” and retreats to protect his youngest child and run for safety.

Whilst some scenes seem preposterous with the sheer volume of destruction shown its worth noting that such scenes are nothing short of what has been seen across the news in 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. I think that the scenes are creative a giving you a full grasp of the situation and drawing you in.

A film worth watching if only once, this will likely be revered for a decade or so but I doubt that it will hold it’s weight as long as 1953 H.G. Wells counterpart.

Rating: 67%

Film Review: Thumbsucker

Thumbsucker Film Poster

A diamond in the rough, this is definitely not another Napoleon Dynamite. What Napolean did for Pop Culture Thumbsucker does the exact opposite to the teen angst genre producing one of the first films to be widely regarded as “American Indie”.
Thumbsucker brings all those problems that we are so used to seeing to new sensational heights.

Justin Cobb (Lou Pucci) is 17 and still sucks his thumb. It’s not surprising that Justin is still clutching to his “security blanket” as his mother dreams over of television heartthrob and his father mourns his college football days. In addition to this both insist that their children call them by their first names in a vain attempt to not be perceived as old.

His ‘problem’ combined with his parents might be overcome if there were some other strong role models for him to turn to but unfortunately there are not any. The closest is possibly Mr Geary (Vince Vaugh) the teacher in charge of the schools debate club, a character that feels it’s entirely acceptable to summon the entire club to the men’s room for a pep talk.

Keanu Reeves, a name everyone should know by now, performs brilliantly with a dialogue consisting mainly of “hippie psychobabble” as the alternative inspirational mentor. Reeves plays a orthodontist who believes that he can treat teeth damaging problems psychologically. Using various methods such as encouraging Justin to summon his power animal to pointing out that sucking your thumb is a substitute for a mothers nibble. Whilst encouraging he isn’t without his own problems as he performs on his reclined open mouth patents.

Diagnosed by his principal and treated for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with Ritalin-type drugs Justin then begins his metamorphosis. The transition begins with Justin being held in limbo, opportunities have now opened to him and he’s lost with choices. Whilst this sounds incredibly samey to other films you really feel the despair as you are essentially shown Justin’s entire world before this happens giving you a full panoramic of where he is and how hard it is to see where he’s going.

The personal growth of Justin is entirely undermined by the fact that his parents resent being adults something that whilst not as obvious as a hit in the face adds to the tethers that is holding him back.

The Director/screenwriter Mike Mills transfers Walter Kirn’s novel perfectly (yes I enjoyed the film enough to read it) expecting vast plot points and internal insecurities to be placed in the dark for the film I was surprised to see how many were portrayed if even subtly into the film.

Certainly something to see if you have the chance although I wouldn’t choose it for a first date, perhaps for a third or forth when you can both happily sit together and take in everything that you are bombarded with. Stunning story, well cast and enjoyable to watch.

Rating: 76%

Happy Winter-een-mas!!

X3 Reunion Game Box

Well actually it started on the 25th so we’re smack bang in the middle of it but still have a happy holiday none-the-less.

What is Winter-een-mass? It’s a fictional holiday created by Tim Buckley for gamers, to celebrate computer games. With the huge sub-culture surrounding games, brought on by the boom of the internet it was only a matter of time.

So what have I been doing to celebrate this Gamers Festivities? I’ve renewed my efforts to keep up my gaming efforts that severely dropped last year, I missed out on the WoW (World of Warcraft) phase which I’m likely to be shamed about for years to come.

I have however picked up a copy of X3 – Reunion another sequel in the mahusive ‘X’ universe. X is the modern day Elite series, most famous of these is the Elite II – Frontier which I’ve played for days straight, weeks even! Its possibly my first favourite Flight Sim RPG game of all time. The universe was huge and you could practically do anything, skim suns, halo drop, fly-bys, trade, steal, pirate, transport and even assassinate.

To make things that little bit more interesting there were 2 prominent advancement systems you could advance in the Sol Federation (that’d be where Earth is) or the Achenar Empire. You could choose one or the other to advance in but both usually got your superiors curious about your loyalties and tried to have you killed by increasing the danger on your missions. I don’t think I ever achieved Admiral or Prince respectively in either but I did get above halfway.

Anyway X3 – Reunion is mightily impressive, stunning visuals but the control system is taking forever to pick up everything, I suppose in the long run its good as you’ll have everything at your fingertips but currently just trying to remember to drop Chaff on incoming missiles is enough.

Long Night

So Saturday had to be one of the most productive days I’ve had for quite some time, so much so that 8 hours passed between meals, as positive reinforcement to this good work I decided to pop down Tescos to pick up some treats. So I thought lets see if anyone else is awake and ask the housemates if they want anything.

So Katie appears to be ill huh? To the hospital you say? To the Millenium Canary! So after a rather impressively short wait of 15 minutes for an examination it turns disastrous with a culmination of 4 hours for treatment.

Whilst it might seem like a long-time it’s not that bad in the grand scheme of things, sure the NHS has its problems but it served it purpose tonight. As the computer with a IQ of 6000 on-board the small rouge one says Appreciate what you’ve got, because basically, I’m fantastic.